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MARKETING INSIGHTS – What Social Media is really about…

Social media is about sharing, not selling. If you want to sell, then try advertising. For businesses, social media should be a forum where you would be sharing your expertise by positioning yourself as the expert. And as the expert, would you not want to share your expertise?

As an example, let’s assume you are in the business of manufacturing organic food products. You shouldn’t be trying to sell your products through social media. You would be selling your products through advertising. However, you would use social media, as a platform, to share the importance and benefit of consuming organic food products. Your purpose on social media should be to teach people about the benefits of organic food and to respond to their questions or comments about your company and its products. You strive to make connections with the people through your products and to create active conversations.

What sort of conversations? Your line of products may span a number of categories or you may offer a wide selection of assortments. So, use social media to discuss that. Talk about your inspirations. Talk about your experiences or reasons why you offer what you have. Conversation can, and will, evolve into unique associations about other conversational subjects, all through your products. The list of topics can be endless. You’ll need to think creatively, but keep in mind that social media is a forum for sharing conversations and information that will enlighten people or to benefit them in some way. In other words, provide some sort of value to your audience. Making people think and talk about your products is a surefire way of giving them a reason to visit your business or website regularly.

What else can you share? Content. Use pictures, video, recipes, tips and tricks. Come up with new and interesting ways to present your products and share information about your company. Since you are the expert, what sort of “insider” information can you share that may be of value to your audience? Social media is your forum to “show and tell”. Be original and creative in your content. Maybe consider showing people enjoying or having fun with your products? People are emotional creatures; and evoking sentiments of happiness and joy creates a positive feeling about your products. Be funny! Show that you have a sense of humour.   You, too, can be a fun brand!

The greatest aspect of social media is that it creates an equal playing field amongst businesses or brands. Social media is accessible and affordable to everyone. It is not governed by borders or finances. Most importantly, you must identify your niche and secure your expertise in this area. Create your following and extend your reach. Focus on building brand loyalty. Provide valuable content that is varied, interesting and engaging. Share, Give, Respond, Authentically.

Twitter – Redux

Twitter will be turning 10 years old next year. Since its inception, this social media platform has gone through a roller coaster of evolutionary development. Its user base had somewhat plateaued in the last couple years. It was slowly becoming just a source for news feeds and celebrity gloating. However, in recent news, there have been some very interesting developments at Twitter, and I believe there will be a revamp of the vision and purpose of Twitter in the coming years.

On Oct 5, 2015, Jack Dorsey (@jack), the original co-founder   of Twitter and CEO of Square, Inc. was recently brought back to Twitter as their permanent CEO. A week later, he culled Twitter of eight per cent of its staff, which was 336 employees and the following week, he donated 1/3 of his shares in Twitter to the company’s equity pool – with a statement that he wanted to invest in the company and it’s people.

On Oct 15, 2015, Steve Ballmer (@Steve_Ballmer), the ex-CEO of Microsoft, tweeted his boost of confidence in Jack and the company, and revealed that he bought four per cent of twitter over the past few months. This makes Ballmer the third largest shareholder of Twitter, with a larger stake than Dorsey.

So in light of these recent developments, I feel that this would be a great opportunity to take a fresh look at where twitter is today and what you can do to better manage your twitter engagement. The learning curve for new Twitter users is very high now, with all of the new developments to the technology and network. But for those who

have been active or semi-active users of twitter over the last 10 years, I would like   to share a list of some tools and apps that will help elevate your engagement beyond simple RTs, favourites or 140 character conversations.

Tools & Apps… that will help elevate your engagement beyond simple RTs.

Tweetdeck
One of my favourite twitter dashboards. Active and real-time. Allows management of multiple twitter accounts.
Buffer
Lots of functions built into app. Allows scheduling tweets, RSS feed management, content and engagement analytics.
Hootsuite
Another one of my favourite twitter dashboards. Management of RSS feeds, social listening feeds and team collaboration.
Canva
Used to create custom graphics to share on Twitter
Periscope/Meerkat
Live streaming video apps, leverages twitter connections, allows posts of live stream links to Twitter feeds
Twitter Lists
Organize and filter your Twitter followers into organized feeds, subscribe and follow others lists.
ManageFlitter
Manage your followers, clear inactive followers, compare your followers to others, find new people to follow.
Mention
Social listening with alerts for each time your name, Twitter handle or other words.
Klear (formerly Twtrland)
Dashboard view of your account, influencers accounts and content being shared by your followers and followers of topics you follow
Twitter Video
30 second video’s embedded into Twitter, take videos saying thank you or storytelling beyond 140 characters.
TweetBot or Twitter Mobile App
Leverage downtime with mobile Twitter apps, customize notifications to understand when you’re mentioned so you can engage in real-time.
Topsy
Search hashtags, compare hashtags and trends to better understand hashtags being used and which hashtags are best.
TweetChat/Nurph
Sites dedicated to Twitter chats, enables users to follow only chat hashtag to organize conversation.
Read more on Twitter chats here!
Meshfire
Twitter dashboard organized for team and campaign engagement, leverages artificial intelligence to give unique view of twitter conversations.

Ken Kwong

Ken is the executive vice-president at New Age Marketing & Brand Management Inc,, (NAM&BMI) a National brokerage company specializing in brand management of CPG brands and products in all channels and markets in Canada. His opinions expressed in this column are solely his own and do not necessarily represent those of this publication. Ken can be contacted via email (ken@newagemarketing.ca), Twitter (@kenkwong) or LinkedIn.

 

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